From Americas Majority, a new polls on Hispanics and a few thoughts.
by Tom Donelson on July 24, 2010 at 10:33 AM
The National Association of Elected Latino officials released a poll showing that for many Hispanic voters, immigration is the number one issue. Even jobs and the economy have slipped below immigration as a concern for Hispanic voters.
With the Arizona Senate Bill 1070 in the forefront, many Hispanics are hearing the pro and cons on this bill, (mostly hearing the con on their media outlets) and many Hispanics are paying attention. The good news is that for 2010, the Republicans may dodge a bullet since Harry Reid has announced recently that he is going for an energy bill as the Obama administration is looking to take over the Energy industry just as they now control banking, health care and most of the Auto industry. If Reid and the Democrats do not vote on an immigration bill, my own view is that many left leaning Hispanic voters will opt to stay home.
I noted that Meg Whitman has taken a different approach to marketing her ideas to Hispanic voters, but recently as the DC Caller reported, Senate hopefuls Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist are tied with Hispanics voters. In my own view, if Rubio manages only a tie with Crist, this could jeopardize his chances of winning In a state where every vote counts, Rubio can't avoid to leave any votes on the table.
I will add that Republicans will have to re examine their position on immigration post election. For those who favor a more comprehensive approach, a good beginning into starting a new dialogue is by reading Ramesh Ponnuru's piece in National Review on the politics of immigration. Mr. Ponnuru is a border security hawk when it comes to immigration (I hope Mr. Ponnuru, I got your position correct), he also understands the political risk that the Republicans are taking among Hispanics and is calling for a more nuance position that both border security first hawks and comprehensive reformers can sign off on. (I should add that Mr. Ponnuru was a close friend of the late Richard Nadler.)
If the Democrats fail to act on immigration this fall, this could aid Republicans, as I have already stated, but there is some serious discussion that needs to go on post election. We work on the assumption as a Party and movement that Hispanic voters are property of the Democratic Party. Consider some history on demographics. In the early 70's, many evangelicals still voted Democratic and Jimmy Carter was able to count on a plurality to win the White House and the South in the 1976 elections. Today, Evangelicals are voting 70-30 Republicans and they represent approximately 25% of the electorate. Who is to say that we can't at least grab half of the Hispanic voters in the future? It is not out of the realm of possibility since we showed that we could grab at least 40% of the Hispanic votes in 2004.